Washington, Aug 31 (EFE).- The lawyers of former United States president Donald Trump told a judge on Wednesday that the classified documents found in his Mar-a-Lago mansion were in a “secure setting.”
In a filing, the lawyers said that classified material was expected to be found among the presidential documents that Trump took from the White House because of the nature of the position he held.
Judge Aileen Cannon summoned Trump’s lawyers and the US Department of Justice (DoJ) to a hearing in West Palm Beach, Florida, on Thursday to discuss the former president’s request for a “special master” or court-appointed attorney to oversee the review of the evidence gathered by the FBI during a raid on his Florida mansion on Aug. 8.
Trump has also requested a more detailed receipt of what was seized and the return of any item that was not within the scope of the search warrant.
Judge Cannon has expressed willingness to appoint an expert to oversee the search of Mar-a-Largo, Trump’s residence and private club in Palm Beach, but said that she will listen to both parties before making a decision.
The hearing will take place two days after the DoJ said Tuesday in a court filing that “efforts were likely taken to obstruct the government’s investigation.”
According to the DoJ, some of the classified documents found during the search were “likely concealed and removed” from a storage room at Trump’s Florida estate.
The US government has repeatedly asked Trump to hand over classified documents he may have taken from the White House but the former president’s team has responded evasively.
During the search, FBI agents found more than 100 classified documents that Trump had not turned over to authorities despite requests.
The more than 50-page filing – including exhibits – presented by the DoJ to Judge Cannon late Tuesday provides a timeline of the handling of material seized since Trump left the White House in January 2021.
According to the filing, these documents were not protected by executive privilege and should have been stored in the National Archives as required by law.
Trump responded on his social media platform on Wednesday to a photograph in the DoJ filing that showed “Top Secret” documents strewn on the floor.
“There seems to be confusion as to the ‘picture’ where the documents were sloppily thrown on the floor and then released photographically for the world to see, as if that’s what the FBI found when they broke into my home. Wrong!” he said.
“They took out the cartons and spread them around on the carpet, making it look like a big “find” for them. They dropped them, not me – Very deceiving,” he added. EFE